The Republican-dominated state House of Representatives overwhelming voted Wednesday to condemn the Obama administration’s controversial rule requiring religiously-affiliated institutions to offer health coverage that includes “free” access to contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. The House’s Resolution 29 passed with a vote of 227-121.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has thus become the first elected body in America to officially vote to condemn the ruling.
“House Resolution 29 is not about the merits of contraception,” said House Speaker William O’Brien. It is not about whether insurers choose to offer coverage for these services in their policies. It also is not about the Catholic Church’s policies on contraception, sterilization or any other of its teachings or beliefs. Rather, HR 29 stands up for our religious institutions that have long-held principles and teachings under assault by a president and his ideology that seeks not merely to reject, but to tear down our liberties.”
“House leadership introduced House Resolution 29 to defend New Hampshire’s long and proud history of religious tolerance, while pushing back against the deeply flawed law known as ObamaCare,” added House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt. “The new mandate from the Obama administration requiring religious organizations to offer insurance coverage for practices that go against the teachings and tenets of their faith is an unnecessary, cynical and unconstitutional attack on religious institutions. To those who say HR29 detracts from this legislature’s focus on New Hampshire’s economy, let us remind them this issue highlights a critical issue facing our economy, the effect of mandates on the cost of health insurance.”
Three members of New Hampshire’s four-member delegation have been outspoken opponents of the Obama administration ruling. Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Reps. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta are all co-sponsors of legislation to overturn the rule. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, is a vocal supporter of the rule and has even taken to calling cable news producers to complain that their coverage of the controversy hasn’t been fair.